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Shawn Sokolik Schute

Shawn Sokolik SchuteHappily (and healthy) ever after!

With her wedding only weeks away, Shawn was busy preparing and looking forward to their big day. As a mom of two and working full-time, she definitely didn't have time to be sick, especially now. But unfortunately Shawn had been experiencing severe pain in her abdomen, back and right side, off and on for about three weeks.

She was seen several times at various clinics and hospitals outside of Lancaster to no avail. She tried to continue to work and manage her household as best she could, but the pain was relentless. She was unable to get a diagnosis or relief from pain. That is until Shawn decided to seek care at Grant Regional Health Center's Emergency Department.

"I just couldn't tolerate the pain anymore. I had been to several different clinics and hospitals outside Lancaster and no one could seem to figure out what was wrong," said Shawn. "I decided to go to Grant Regional's Emergency Department with the hope that someone could help my condition."

After being seen in the Emergency Department, Shawn was immediately referred to Dr. Carl Sunby, Grant Regional's general surgeon, by her primary care provider, Dr. Sheirlie LaMantia. It was determined that she had a severe infection in her lower abdomen due to a ruptured appendix, with multiple abscesses in her abdomen.

"In my opinion she was very ill from the infection, and I felt she was extremely fortunate that her condition wasn't worse, considering what she had been through," explained Dr. Sunby. She was then taken to surgery, with the intention of laparoscopically removing the infected appendix and draining the abscesses. "However, due to the severity of the infection, I determined the safest approach to address her problems was to open her abdomen to address the infection. Her surgery then required removing a portion of her intestine, which contained the ruptured appendix, and draining the abscesses. She remained in the hospital for several days on antibiotics and was discharged home a week following her surgery in good condition," said Dr. Sunby.

"I was very grateful to Dr. Sunby and the staff at Grant Regional. My family and my job are very important to me. I can't do a good job with my animals at work or be a good wife or mother when I'm not feeling 100 percent. They helped me get back to my old self—when no one else could!" explained Shawn.

"I knew it was serious, but I didn't know the extent of how serious until after surgery. I was very nervous since I had never had surgery before. Dr. Sunby must have noticed how nervous I was. He was great about explaining what would be done during surgery and after. I just knew it had to be more than a UTI. I received exceptional care from the doctors and nurses. All the staff was very caring and friendly. They kept me informed of what they were doing throughout my hospital stay.

"I was in the hospital for a week after surgery. Everyone was willing to help me out and told me everything that was going on with shift changes of staff and medications. They made sure I wasn't in pain and was comfortable. I knew recovery was going to take a while after surgery. I was off work for maybe five days total before surgery. After surgery it was about four weeks before I went back. When I did go back, I was on weight and activity restrictions for about a month. But the best part was I got to enjoy my honeymoon without any complications or worries. That was an amazing gift!

"I really owe my life to Dr. Sunby and Grant Regional Health Center. He admitted that I was one lucky gal to have gotten the proper treatment when I did. If I had waited much longer—I don't even want to think about the what if—let's just say I'm extremely grateful and happy to have my health back. It's something I know I will never take for granted."

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